Tag Archives: lifestyle

WOMEN’S FEATURE – ALEXA AJ FERNANDO, TORONTO

 

Now to be honest, AJ is someone I have been admiring on instagram for a while. She is honest and transparent in her posts; she goes deep when sharing her inner musings. Her personal style comes across in her photography and writing and it transcends faith, introspection, and authentic glee for life and community!

AJ is originally from Calgary, but moved to Toronto in the last year to pursue her dreams & study culinary, food styling and photography. This month’s Women’s day blog series has been mostly Q&A’s so to switch it up, I asked her to share a little insight about her journey since moving to Toronto.

-enjoy!

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We chose to feature AJ because of her incredible eye for photographs. Too often I read her creative projects, like #40conversations project, and they articulate thoughts that resonate so well, I can only imagine that they would be point of reflection for many of our readers.

Just like…

A photo posted by Alexa Fernando (@ajfernando) on Mar 9, 2015 at 1:56pm PDT

“Okay, I’ll show you what I mean. On one end is what we know and on another end is what we don’t know. In the middle there’s this grey area. That’s where ideas come from and where you’ll find the building blocks required for innovation.” – Omar, MD/PhD, Day 17 Have you ever been in those situations where someone’s explaining something and you’re nodding your head in agreement but you actually don’t get it because it’s nowhere near your field? Next time that happens, don’t be afraid to admit your ignorance and just ask. Omar is in the business of text mining and to help me understand better he grabs a sheet of napkin and draws on it while explaining his point. It was a nice gesture because as a creative, having that visual was all I needed to get it. People are willing to put an extra effort, sharing what they know, as long as you are willing to learn as well. So meet them halfway! There is that grey area after all.

 

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” Since I missed a conversation on Day 19, thought I’d share another one from a different day. I saw this quote scribbled on Aya’s notebook and started our conversation by reading it out loud to her. It really resonated with me cause although I had just started my project (I was on Day 5) I knew already that it would be something that I would want to do for the rest of my life. Those life/inspirational quotes you post may get redundant to some but don’t let that hold you back from sharing. The little things you do matter. Somewhere out there it might just be that push that someone needs in their day or that simple reminder that he/she is doing okay. #40conversationsproject #lessonsfrompeople To coincide with this post, I’ve left some prints with handwritten quotes at @650cafe. Just say hi to Stef (maybe start a conversation with him!) and mention my name/instagram and he’ll let you choose from the set.

 


“I think one of the biggest realizations I’ve had since moving to Toronto is that the world does not revolve around me. There are far greater things at work and if I want to make a difference especially in a city like Toronto then I have to stand on my own feet and make it happen. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I should stand out—I only need to stand up. After all, I am just a [small] piece of the entire picture. We all have a part to play and who I am as an individual is made up of all the people around me. Whether we know each other or not, I’ve learned that each person that I encounter has a significant role and influence in my life: I am because you are.” – ALEXA

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Thanks for reading, are you liking the series guys? If you enjoyed this please comment below or share it! Do let us know if you are liking what you see.

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Dublin

WOMEN’S FEATURE – CANDIDSBYJO’S JO YEE, LONDON

Jo is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle photographer. She takes us on journeys to exotic places and tells compelling stories through her photographs at ‘CandidsbyJo’.

We met a year ago at the Food Bloggers Connect conference in London.  I watched her stealthily capture moments throughout the weekend One particular thing stood out; her ability to warm up to anyone and engage them. Jo has a bubbly, warm, and up-beat personality.

We chose to feature Jo not only because her photos are damn-nice, but we can identify with her strength.  It’s exciting, crazy, and breath-taking to move across the pond, re-acculturate, and find your feet while chasing your dreams.  As part of her feature, she’s given us a taste of her travels at a cheese producer in Portugal.

-enjoy!

Queijo-Serra-da-Estrela-cheese-producer-Portugal-photo


Where are you from originally and what is your educational background?

I grew up in Boston also I got my undergrad and post grad degrees in Communications & Business there.

Why London, if you weren’t in London where would you be?

I was in a three year long distance relationship with a Brit and realized one of us has to cross the pond. I made the leap and am really glad I did! if I weren’t in London I’d love to work in New Zealand for a year.

How did you transition into food & travel photography?

I started a personal project in 2012 where I took a photo each day for a whole year. My end goal was improve my photography but the project also led me down an unexpected path towards specifically food & travel. I haven’t looked back since!

What have been a few things that you can attribute your growth in the industry to; is it practice, networks, training, assisting?

Practice is definitely key, especially for people like me who learn through trial and error. Once I started shooting often enough I began to pay attention to light and how to work with it for a style specific to me. Networking in person and on social media has been helpful in raising awareness of my work too.

How has your creativity evolved?

Once I started becoming comfortable with my style (which took a long time) it was really easy to expand from there. I gradually evolved from beautiful bright food photos to ones that incorporates a darker tone and shadows.

What can you suggest to empower other women out there?

As women, we are often the ones who hold ourselves back.  I think it’s necessary to recognise that pattern when it happens and push through it. It’s helpful to have a good support system both personally and professionally.

You say you know the secret of making a mean Old Fashioned?

Muddle really well! 🙂

Last one, what’s your favourite place to eat in London? (you can give us five, it’s hard to pick)

My list is continually changing since there are so many wonderful options in London! I’m a big fan of Restaurant Story, Duck & Waffle, Kanada-ya, Sushi Tetsu and Dishoom. They have all been consistently wonderful.

 

Thanks for reading, If you enjoyed this please comment below or share it! Sharing is caring.

Queijo-Serra-da-Estrela-cheese-production-photo-3 Queijo-Serra-da-Estrela-cheese-photo

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Dublin

NEW Year, What’s NEW?

“happy new year!” … are we still saying that?

I heard somebody at the airport ask the same question when I was traveling. He asked the the guy on the other line, is it too late to still be saying this? – it’s only…. 13th of January. Well I think it’s never too late since I haven’t seen any of you yet this year but, I have been meaning to say lots and lots of things. 

You know, New Years is a season of expectation and anticipation, sometimes almost too much anticipation.  Like I get it, it’s a reset where we can evaluate how we’ve done in the past year and set new goals, but it seems as though there’s this looming expectation for us all to do everything that we haven’t done in the last year or years of our lives ALL at once and achieve it, ALL!

We decide to kick every bad habit that we have, lock the liquor cabinet (or have ‘dry January’), hit the gym, eat better, be better people, be more successful, hope for better things, start the things that we have always said we would but haven’t, and pretty much everything else that we can think of – or maybe that’s just me. If you’re thinking what I’m thinking, that sounds hugely daunting!

Downfall of a New Year

No, forget all the S.M. a R.T. goals but even the smartest goals won’t help me feel positive about that.

nobody talks about about (OH my goodness), what if you wake up on the other side of the new year, and it’s JANUARY. it’s grim and grey. and it’s the coldest time of the year in most places (not Australia). You don’t feel like setting any goals or tackling the mountain of things that you haven’t done.

I was really encouraged after coffee with food-friend, Vincci. (cecinestpasunfoodblog.com). It made the new year seem more achievable!

It’s more difficult to break bad habits, than it is to form new healthy ones.  Recently, we’ve been talking about culture and society in food at school, and this involves knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours.  What this means is just because we know something is good for us doesn’t mean it changes how we think about it or behave. For instance we know that eating healthy & drinking less, and getting active is better for us, but so many other things in our environment or daily lives get in the way of that happening.

Before you know it, you’re at the till in tesco/superstore after work, and you’re crumbling to the temptation of one little bit of mars bar ;P Is it not easier to form new habits? You don’t have to go cold turkey and never touch a drink again! Just focus on moving towards a new little thing, like eating one more serving of veg a day, or maybe just ONE beer this week 😉

Get a buddy for motivation!

My point: new years resolutions are frustrating when we don’t stick to them. December doesn’t have to be the month to live it up and detox later.  Maybe a constant dose of sanity and fun along the way and we don’t have to put so much pressure on in January.

Tell me,  what you have all signed on for and committed to this January?  

this is what I did on new years!

this is what I did on new years!

…. P.S. I should also show you how we (ATE) rang in the new year, right??

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Dublin, Love me Says food, Photography

Worthwhile Weekends in Dublin – Jen’s Hen

Another weekend.  Saturday night, you’re getting set for another night on the town. Couple weeks back we went out for my friend’s bachelorette, or as they call it here in Ireland (and this side of the pond, in general) – a Hen party.

**Tickets GIVEAWAY! ** – scroll to the end for deets on the LIQUOR ROOMS Sunday night bash!


Planning a hen? 5 Tips to having a great one.

no male strippers & no dangerous living, unless you count dancing dangerously awesome 😉

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Start drinking, start early.  
We started at VCC, one of our favourite places for a classic cocktail, tasty treats, and punch bowls.

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Tip 2: 

Involve the groom 
As you do, always have a quiz or game ready to see if the couple really are a match made in heaven.
Make sure to have prizes! Pictured here, an extinguisher full of ‘screwdriver’

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Tip 3: 
Have fantastic food – and/or fantastic slop that takes the cake
On this occasion we suggest the tastiest of burgers at *Rick’s burgers* after a little drinks top-up at Exchequer.

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Tip 4: 
Class it up with some burlesque 
No silly, I don’t mean to partake, I meant show up and get hot and bothered watching them talented ladies.  We were at the Button Factory for a special occasion burlesque show, lucky us! hear that feline roar.

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Tip 5: 
Dance like there’s no tomorrow, 
because there’s nothing like a little limbo to loosen you up
We danced the night away with some nice shots & cozy dance floor at Ukiyo Bar; a sushi joint turned bar at night time.

That pretty much concludes our adventures in Dublin. We called it a night after all the early fun.

GIVEAWAY TIME: a nice friend at the Liquor Rooms has given me a few tickets to their Rock Your Northern Soul tomorrow night – free ‘Twisted Wheel’ Cocktail comment below or tweet me if you’re interested!

 

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